An asteroid about the size of the Berlin Cathedral swept just past Earth on Saturday. The celestial body discovered a month ago, called 2023 DZ2, will first pass the moon and hours later will roar across the Indian Ocean at a distance of a good 168,000 kilometers, the US space agency Nasa said. That's less than half the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
The asteroid is estimated to be 40 to 90 meters in size, travels at around 28,000 kilometers per hour and has the potential to wipe out an entire city, NASA said. He won't be dangerous, but interesting. Due to the small distance to earth, it can also be observed with small telescopes and even binoculars.
"There is no way this 'city killer' will hit Earth, but its close approach offers a great opportunity for observations," said ESA's Director of Planetary Defense Richard Moissl. The Virtual Telescope Project will broadcast a live webcast of the approach.
According to Nasa, asteroids repeatedly rush past the earth by space standards, but projectiles of this size only come so close to it only about every ten years. Astronomers at the International Asteroid Warning Network consider 2023 DZ2 good practice for planetary defenses in case a dangerous asteroid heads our way. In three years he will be heading back to earth. Contrary to initial warnings, scientists are now ruling out that he could then hit her.
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